Dr. Real leads a team of scientists who are investigating the mechanisms by which people are able to distinguish between memories of real events and memories of fantasies. Dr. Real has had a long career of exploring the idea that a good fantasy life is central to human health.
- Marty Van Guire. Lab manager.
- Beth Drexler. I am an MD/PhD student working on the neurotransmitters that are required for the regulation of memory formation by emotions.
- Erin Wolfe. I have been a laboratory technician in Dr. Real's lab for nearly 25 years. Currently, I am devoting most of my time to HPLC runs of mouse CSF samples obtained by Beth Drexler and human samples from the work of Dr. Yetman.
- Vira MacTerren. I am the newest member of Dr. Real's lab. I will be developing a new eMedicine study concerning Reality Assignment functions in digital minds.
- John Schmidt. I am participating in a "reality contest" in order to study people who are willing to participate in such an attempt to create fantasy reality. Do such people simply have too much time on their hands or is desire for money and fame the main motivation for participation? To remove the search for money or fame as a possible motivation, the Real Life Soap Wiki will be useful. Can a wiki provide a role playing experience that stands up to the competition provided by other online media? See JWS lab notes for more details.
- Nora Yetman. I am conducting a clinical research trial of an experimental drug (beta-carboline-17) that seems to help some patients with hallucinations and delusions. Our hypothesis is that the amygdala and other brain regions have neurotransmitter receptors that are blocked by beta-carboline-17, resulting in reduced levels of brain activity. These beta-carboline-17-blockable brain functions can be associated with mental experiences that cannot be assigned to memories or sensory inputs. There are some traditional Japanese herbal remedies that contain beta-carboline-17, and I hope to start a new clinical study with Dr. Dobashi in Japan that will use fMRI scans to test the idea that these herbs can produce the same effects on brain physiology as does purified beta-carboline-17.